Author: Caroline Leavitt
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Description: In 1956, when divorced working-mom Ava Lark rents a house with her twelve-year-old son, Lewis, in a Boston suburb, the neighborhood is less than welcoming. Lewis yearns for his absent father, befriending the only other fatherless kids: Jimmy and Rose. One afternoon, Jimmy goes missing. The neighborhood–in the era of the Cold War, bomb scares, and paranoia–seizes the opportunity to further ostracize Ava and her son.
Lewis never recovers from the disappearance of his childhood friend. By the time he reaches his twenties, he’s living a directionless life, a failure in love, estranged from his mother. Rose is now a schoolteacher in another city, watching over children as she was never able to watch over her own brother. Ava is building a new life for herself in a new decade. When the mystery of Jimmy’s disappearance is unexpectedly solved, all three must try to reclaim what they have lost.
Review by Judy G.:
Caroline Leavitt brings the characters to life as they endure the pain and grief of Jimmy’s disappearance. The two families don’t know how to cope or how to move on with their lives. We also get a glimpse of the times in 1956 when women weren’t supposed to divorce or work outside the home, or buy a house.
This is an intriguing, poignant story which kept me reading to see what happens to the very end–which was a complete surprise. I recommend this book and look forward to reading more of Ms. Leavitt’s novels.
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